The Arctic storm that has swept the United States hit Oregon on Saturday, January 13th. What started as a rare snowy day in Eugene and Springfield turned icy the next day. Roads were frozen over, and businesses were shut down for three days straight due to a “snow/ice emergency” put in place by the city of Eugene. This emergency status was lifted last Thursday, January 18th.
According to OPB News, there is still much cleanup to do around the city of Eugene. Many large tree branches, and even entire trees, have fallen due to the ice weighing them down. Eugene is still recovering, and Eugene Public Works expects their response to the damage to be “ongoing and long-term.”
However, the neighboring town of Springfield was hit much worse. According to the OPB and multiple residents of Springfield, most of the city has been without power for several days. This is due to damage at the Springfield Utility Board water facilities.
As Lane County recovers, the arctic storm has still swept the U.S. However, according to events around the country, the snow, rain, and ice haven’t seemed to affect the sporting world, as the divisional round for the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs continued despite the snow. In Santa Clara, the game for the San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers continued, despite the absolute downpour that the Bay Area experienced.
These weather events are in direct correlation to my last article about the arctic storm. The U.S. can expect to experience more extreme weather, such as heavy snow and rain, for the next few weeks.
This is also a direct effect of climate change. Global warming is not a term scientists use to describe what is happening to the planet, because our planet is not just warming up. While these cold snaps may lead climate change deniers to think that they have proven a point, this is how climate change works.
According to an article from CNN, our weather is influenced by a jet stream. This jet stream can disrupt the polar vortex and bring those colder temperatures down to more populated areas of the world.
Scientists believe that the disruptions in the polar vortex are due to the Arctic warming up. This leads to dangerously warmer weather in polar areas and colder, harsher winters for the rest of the world.
Scientists believe that climate change could lead to a new Ice Age. It wouldn’t help to move south, as that would be the coldest area.
These changes in climate change may seem scary, but they are something that we need to look out for and adapt to if possible. There is also positivity to this, because there are plenty of organizations that are making a difference against climate change.
The EPA is an organization that conducts research on climate change. They strive to understand how climate change impacts the planet. By understanding the impact, they can learn to manage the risks.
While climate change can be a scary thing to think about, there are still organizations like the EPA working towards a positive change. And we, as a people, have the job of educating ourselves and helping where we can to make a better world for us and for the future.
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